It was a sunny, spring day in the Piazza della Signoria, the gateway to the Uffizi Gallery. We were almost half-way through our 18-day honeymoon trip to Liguria, Tuscany & Lake Como. The tables lining the L-shaped piazza were filled with locals and tourists soaking in the sights and sounds of the beautiful 14th century Palazzo Vecchio (Florence’s town hall) at whose entrance stands the replica of Michelangelo’s David. The piazza is also home to the sculptures of the Loggia dei Lanzi, the Fountain of Neptune, and the Equestrian Monument of Cosimo I (Medici).
The piazza is a visual feast of Florentine architecture and art which makes it a perfect place to stroll or to spend an afternoon at one of the outdoor cafe tables. We had been lucky enough to secure a premium table on the outside edge of Caffe Rivoire. And, understanding that not only do people come to dine but to also enjoy the beauty of the piazza, the chairs at our table were on the same side of the table facing the piazza.
After the distraction of ordering we settled back into our chairs to soak in the many sights of the piazza. But what captured my attention, and frankly my heart, was the gentleman who arrived at our cafe wearing a butterscotch silk scarf underneath a black overcoat. Topping his head was a silk-banded, crown creased wool hat. Every piece of clothing spoke of elegance with a hint of the dramatic. He was STUNNING! Rather than waiting to be seated, like the remainder of Cafe Rivoire’s guests, he greeted the maggiordomo (maitre d’) before quietly walking to a table in the rear of the cafe.
He was immediately greeted by a cameriere (waiter) who delivered an espresso and after a familiar, brief exchange the gentleman in the butterscotch scarf opened his newspaper and began reading. You may be wondering why this was an unforgettable moment? To me, this gentleman represented someone who was intimately familiar with life in Florence, including its fashion, beautiful places, and people. And, in that moment, I wanted to experience what it was like to be the gentleman in the butterscotch scarf reading a newspaper in the Piazza della Signoria on a spring day.
Mary Beth I have a passion for creating and experiencing unforgettable moments and sharing those with others. I hope that this story has helped you experience one of those moments.